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> Now Watching, Films/ movies discussion
Olen
post Apr 12 2010, 08:32 PM
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We have a music discussion thread but seem to lack a film (movie if you're from that bit of the world) discussion. The idea's pretty self-evident: what films have you seen recently, what did you think of them? Fairly similar to another thread really...

To start, I watched Gomorrah (2008) for the second time last night. It's a really good bit of Italian film-making and centres arouind the problems faced by Naples throught the stories of a few people whose paths cross with the organised crime there. It certainly doesn't pull punches in terms of the gritty reality from the first scene and a fairly grim ending.
Some of the settings are brilliant too, there are scenes shot in some buildings which look seriously run down in Naples which leads to a good degree of accuracy.

Overall I'd give it 8/10.


So what's anyone else watching?



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canis216
post Apr 13 2010, 12:28 AM
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In the last two weeks I've watched Green Zone and The Ghost Writer in theatres. Green Zone, of course, is the big action/drama starring Matt Damon and directed by Paul Greengrass. Damon, as usual, is quite good. Some critics have complained about the jumpy hand-held camera work (a Greengrass signature notably used in the 2nd and 3rd Bourne films) but it fits the subject matter perfectly--the subject being the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq by the United States. I'm not much for rating a film by the numbers, but I'll say that this one is certainly worth at least one peek on a big screen.

The Ghost Writer stars Ewan McGregor, with Pierce Brosnan and Olivia Williams playing pivotal roles. Roman Polanski directs. Brosnan is a disgraced former British Prime Minister; McGregor is ghost-writing the P.M.'s autobiography; Williams plays the P.M.'s wife. This is another film connected to the notorious "War on Terror". The acting is superb, the settings sufficiently wind-swept and menacing, the drama can sometimes seem over the top but is leavened with a sort of biting humor that makes it all work damn well. Terrific movie, though not the sort of thing I necessarily want to see over and over again.

This post has been edited by canis216: Apr 13 2010, 02:44 AM


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SubRosa
post Apr 13 2010, 01:00 AM
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I am in the middle of watching Red Cliff (Chi Bi), the International version, not the butchered American one. I finished part one yesterday and am working on part 2 today (and probably tomorrow, it is long). It is a very fun movie, set in the Three Kingdoms period of Chinese history. You can really see that John Woo is going for an epic feel, which he captures very well. Besides the characteristically over the top action scenes, the characters are interesting and likeable, and he takes the time to develop them. The latter makes the move move kind of slowly in places, but I think it is well worth the payoff in how it enriches the story. What really struck me today was how absolutely perfectly he started part two. The opening credits are interspersed with the pivotal scenes from part 1. This tells you the entire story of part 1 in a few minutes, without it being a boring prologue. A good example of showing vs. telling. Oh, and the eye-candy is nice. China is a beautiful country. The cgi could be better in places, but I have seen far worse.


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treydog
post Apr 13 2010, 06:10 PM
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We have become rather addicted to Netflix- but are watching some older TV series that we missed the first time around. I will leave it up to Olen as the OP as to whether we should discuss television or just stick to movies/films.

The last movie I watched was Stardust, the adaptation of the Neil Gaiman book by the same name. The cimematic version was fairly faithful to the original story, although some material was (necessarily) dropped. Claire Danes and Michelle Pfeiffer were both outstanding. There was plenty of humor and the CGI effects were nicely done.

Mrs. Treydog watched Seraphine, a biopic about an untrained French artist (Seraphine Louis). It was her kind of film, as the artist was troubled and likely psychotic. As a painter, Mrs. Treydog prefers suffering artist movies.... Seriously, she found it quite interesting and definitely worth viewing.


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Liam
post Apr 16 2010, 11:56 PM
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I'm currently following Stargate Universe, Stargate has always been one of my favourite shows. But Stargate Universe still has a lot to live up to if it ever wants to get better than Atlantis.


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Kiln
post Apr 18 2010, 02:31 PM
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Watching Stargate SG1...again. My favorite season show of all time. 50 discs and I've already watched them all before but its been so long its like watching them over for the first time.


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mALX
post Apr 19 2010, 07:40 PM
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Pride and Prejudice - not my favorite version. My favorite one involves Colin Firth with his shirt open and a damp chest after an impomptu swim.

Valmont - another Colin Firth one, this time he has long hair drawn back in a pony tail.


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haute ecole rider
post Apr 26 2010, 02:50 AM
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It's been a while, but let's see, the last one I watched (and was quite surprised by how good it was) is When the Last Sword is Drawn, a samurai movie I found on hulu.com. Thought it sounded interesting, but the plot and story were so compelling, and the actors/actresses were outstanding, that I just sat there and drooled over the storytelling . . . If only I could write stories like that! And the cinematography was poetical, making the settings characters in their own rights. I watched it while I was working on combat scenes in my own fiction, and thought maybe I could learn a thing or two. Well, I certainly did, and not just swordfighting techniques, either! If any of you have ever watched Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this is as lyrical in its imagery, but I thought overall Last Sword was better quality in the story and character development.

I will admit that I cried at the end. blink.gif verysad.gif


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SubRosa
post Apr 29 2010, 12:41 AM
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I have put When the Last Sword is Drawn on my Netflix list. The synopsis sounds very neat.

While not movie theater movies, I have started watching the Sharpe's Rifles movies again. I fell in love with them several years ago, and now I cannot resist the urge to dust them off every year or so to see again. Sean Bean is at his finest playing Richard Sharpe, rough, uncultured, a proper honoured user, and perhaps because that more a gentleman than most of the other officers around him.

The supporting cast of the Rifles themselves strong, led by Daragh O'Malley as Sgt. Harper. The individual troopers have personality, making them feel like real people rather than simply stuffed uniforms. John Tams plays Hagman, and has one of the most incredible singing voices. He is the one singing Over the Hills and Far Away in the series (and other songs).

One of the real treasures in this series are the guest stars though. Quite a few talented British actors (and a few non Brits) made their way through this series as it was done. Brian Cox is most notable as Hogan. Too bad he only did a few of the films. Daniel Craig is in the one I am currently watching - Sharpe's Eagle. He does not look a thing like the man I know from films like Layer Cake, Archangel, and of course the Bond films. But his voice is unmistakable. James Purefoy (of Rome fame) turns up in a later film, and is simply fantastic. Elizabeth Hurley makes an appearance. Alice Krige too. Even Alexis Denisof takes a turn.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: Apr 29 2010, 01:41 AM


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SubRosa
post May 6 2010, 01:11 AM
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I saw Up in the Air a little while ago. If you like George Clooney, you will like it, as it features him at his confident, suave, cool best. The story has some good character development throughout, albeit is a little predictable. My only problem was the ending, which seemed rather flat. We saw Clooney's character change though the movie, but at the end we are left to wonder what for? I do not want to spoil it so I will not go into details. Still, in spite of that it was a fun watch, if for nothing else the sheer pleasure of watching George Clooney strut his stuff in a role that was tailor made for him.


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Destri Melarg
post May 9 2010, 08:44 AM
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I finally saw Avatar for the first time tonight.

Number 1 grossing movie of all time!

Really? rolleyes.gif


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Olen
post May 9 2010, 10:33 AM
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Did you see it in 3d? I agree the script was distinctly so so and the plot was nothing special but they really nailed the graphics with 3d which actually worked and didn't make the background look stupid.

I went and saw Iron Man 2 yesterday, it did exactly what it said on the tin. It was about as intellectually challenging as and with depth of a pancake but nonetheless it was enjoyable enough for the two hours. Large machines smashing eachother to bits for two hours (and no appriciable reason) can only be a good thing. Robert Downey was excellent in it and fitted his character well. Overall entertaining in a light sort of way.

As a blast from the past I also saw Highlander again a few days ago, after the event I can never quite believe how bad that film is. It must be among the worse I've seen, what did they spend their $16M on?


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haute ecole rider
post May 9 2010, 02:12 PM
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QUOTE(Olen @ May 9 2010, 04:33 AM) *
As a blast from the past I also saw Highlander again a few days ago, after the event I can never quite believe how bad that film is. It must be among the worse I've seen, what did they spend their $16M on?

Highlander is not good by any stretch, but any movie that has Queen for their sound track is still cool in my book. biggrin.gif

Another movie that is not so good but still high in the cool factor is Nomads, with Pierce Brosnan and Lesley Anne Downs. Hey, the cool factor here is Adam Ant. What's not to like?

A bad movie that revels in being bad so much that it's actually funny is The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai. Peter Weller and Ellen Barkin were in that movie, and there are so many tongue in cheek gags and puns that I'm not resenting the sorry plot at all!

Huh, can you tell I'm an 80's girl? coolgrin.gif

I haven't watched any new ones recently. However, I will plug one I saw a few years ago, and still pull the DVD out to watch occasionally. It's Memento, an indie production, with Guy Pierce in the lead. Unusual storyline, and it takes a while to figure out just what is going on. My kind of movie - it kept me guessing almost to the end (instead of figuring out at the start who the bad guy is). This is a good one, in my book.


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Destri Melarg
post May 9 2010, 11:14 PM
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QUOTE(Olen @ May 9 2010, 02:33 AM) *

Did you see it in 3d? I agree the script was distinctly so so and the plot was nothing special but they really nailed the graphics with 3d which actually worked and didn't make the background look stupid.

I saw it in Blu-Ray. I agree that the effects were really well done, but I expect no less from Stan Winston Studios and Lightstorm. It was the script that I found lacking . . . Dancing With Smurfs, indeed.

QUOTE(haute ecole rider @ May 9 2010, 06:12 AM) *

I haven't watched any new ones recently. However, I will plug one I saw a few years ago, and still pull the DVD out to watch occasionally. It's Memento, an indie production, with Guy Pierce in the lead. Unusual storyline, and it takes a while to figure out just what is going on. My kind of movie - it kept me guessing almost to the end (instead of figuring out at the start who the bad guy is). This is a good one, in my book.

Allow me to second this recommendation, Memento is an excellent movie.


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SubRosa
post May 10 2010, 12:11 AM
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I still have no seen Avatar, even though it is now on disc. I will get around to it eventually, when I am in the mood for a mindless action movie with a hot blue chick.

I am currently in the middle of When the Last Sword Is Drawn. As haute said, it is good. I have found the way it jumps around confusing though, making it take a long time for me to warm up to.

I liked Highlander. Yes it was a bad movie, but still thought it was fun, and it really stood out in the very sparse field of sword and sorcery movies that were around at that time (if you think it is awful, try The Beastmaster!). Granted Christoper Lambert's acting was horrific, but Clancy Brown makes up for it with his sheer coolness ("I'm Candy. "Of course you are..."). I love that suit of armor he has in the flashbacks.

I actually like a lot of bad movies. Done right, a bad movie can be loads of fun. Look at most of the Lovecraft movies, like The Unnamable I and II. Or the Return of the Living Dead movies. Tons of fun!

I liked Nomads too. It is a different kind of movie. Not an overt supernatural horror type, but rather much more low-key in its creepiness. Plus is has Pierce Brosnan, whom I have been a fan of since Remington Steele.

Memento was another I enjoyed. Very odd movie. Not one I would want to see again, but very cool the first time around.

I finally got around to seeing Rob Zombie's remake of Halloween a little while ago. On one hand it was interesting seeing so much depth given to Michael Myers for a change. But that is also the biggest problem of the movie. The main character is not Laurie as it was in Carpenter's classic, it is Michael instead. Making a movie about how cool it is to be a serial killer does not really do much for me. Although granted I do know that is what most horror fans seem to want these days, given the successes of franchises like Saw. In the end it turns out to be pretty meh, quite missable.

This post has been edited by SubRosa: May 10 2010, 12:14 AM


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canis216
post May 16 2010, 03:47 AM
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Watched (re-watched, actually) The Big Lebowski on a large-ish screen in a fellow's backyard in Grand Junction, Colorado, last weekend. If you haven't seen it, you ought to--it's not a "great" film, but it is a highly amusing shaggy story set in 1980's Los Angeles, centered around the adventures of The Dude (Jeff Bridges). The Dude, for the uninitiated, is a middle-aged hippie bowling aficionado who ends up entangled in a convoluted crime caper featuring a wheel-chair bound millionaire, the millionaire's ex-porn star trophy wife, the millionaire's haughty arty daughter, a smut merchant, and German nihilists. Directed by the Coen brothers, this film is absurdly funny and sublimely profane.


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mALX
post May 16 2010, 03:57 AM
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Sense and Sensibility, The Green Mile - I don't watch TV often, just was in the mood to today.


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SubRosa
post May 17 2010, 11:34 PM
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A few days ago I watched Three Days of the Condor, one of my all time favorite spy films. The reason being that the protagonist is not an action hero. Rather he is a guy paid to read books. The only thing he has going for him is his brain, which he uses to good effect throughout the movie. The ending is not what you would expect (at least from a modern movie), which is rather nice.

Today I finished Ride With the Devil, an outstanding U.S. Civil War movie centered on a group of Bushwackers in Missouri. Some of them survive, most do not. Those who do live are forever changed. It is a strong, character-driven story, not too predictable, and doesn't flinch to show the ugliness on both sides of guerrilla war between Kansas and Missouri. As one character says at the end: "Its not right, and its not wrong, it just is."

This post has been edited by SubRosa: May 17 2010, 11:39 PM


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haute ecole rider
post May 20 2010, 05:27 PM
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Not exactly a movie, but not exactly a TV series, either.

Hulu.com uploaded 62 episodes of the Korean drama The Great Queen Seondeok. I've been watching it for the past couple of weeks. It's a great story, full of intrigue, plot twists, and best of all, a cast full of three- (and even four-) dimensional characters. It's a standout due to the strong characters of the two main protagonists (both female), who lock horns with each other over the royal throne. The series takes place during the Three Kingdoms period of Korea's history, in the early seventh century. The acting is outstanding, and the writing is well-done. There are no cardboard characters here. I love the villains in this pieces as much as I love the heroes.

I'm off now to watch Episode 47!


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Kiln
post May 26 2010, 01:24 PM
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QUOTE(SubRosa @ May 9 2010, 11:11 PM) *


I actually like a lot of bad movies. Done right, a bad movie can be loads of fun. Look at most of the Lovecraft movies, like The Unnamable I and II. Or the Return of the Living Dead movies. Tons of fun!

You need to see the movie "Bloodrayne", its one of the worst movies I've ever seen...also go watch "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale".

Got to be my top two terrible movies. In fact I recommend everyone see them just for a good laugh.


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